Club History

Haslemere Border Athletic Club (HBAC) was founded in 1959 by Bill Sykes and was known as Border AC. Initially the club was founded as a track and field club, and was one of the founder members of the Men’s Southern League. Over the years the club enjoyed some success in the League and at its peak fielded two teams in Division 2 and Division 8. The first training days were held at Hindhead playing fields whilst members spent spare time constructing facilities and digging footings for a club pavilion to be built in the grounds of Woolmer Hill School.

Even in the early days training had its fun side. Bill challenged everyone to a walking race from Midhurst to Woolmer in the snow. Fred Bush now president and still an active member and then only 17, finished third in less than one and a half hours. All members helped raise money for the pavilion and on 9th May 1964 it was opened by Robbie Brightwell, European 400m champion.

In 1971 the club became known as Haslemere Border A.C. as a tribute to the council for providing the new athletics facilities at Woolmer Hill School. From the interest generated by the club’s League activity, over the years the club produced athletes of all standards; several County champions, many ranked in the UK listings, and some competing for their country at international level as well as a world indoor record holder.

The Ladies section of the club expanded in the 1970s, also developing international athletes. On the Junior side, the Club entered teams in the Ebbisham League (Boys) and the Lily B League (Girls) providing the opportunity to introduce youngsters to the various different disciplines.

The club has entertained many well known athletes and officials both in competitions and on social occasions. A farewell dinner was held in the pavilion for the British Olympic team before they left for Mexico. Amongst those present were Geoff Capes, John and Shelia Sherwood and David Emery who went on to win gold in the 400m hurdles.

In recent years the club has added a thriving junior section and continues to host the annual Gibbet Hill 10K and more recently the Punchbowl challenges. In 2016/17 the club won the Southern Cross Country League for the first time and has won numerous team and individual prizes in local races.

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